Since us native English speakers have decided that English is the most important language in the world, you would think we would be a little kinder to those choosing to learn our language. When instead, we titter, mock, and joyfully repeat every single mistake learners make for the amusement of ourselves and other natives—or take pictures of those mistakes and share them on the internet. Shame on us.
But hey, nobody’s perfect, and that includes us language lovers! So for your entertainment and our own, here are some English fails from around the world in the form of signs.
Because it’s always important to be able to know what dangers you are facing wherever you are going in this world.
1. So first, here is what you should wear, and, well, probably shouldn’t:
2. It is always helpful to know in advance that there is a safe option for falling:
3. And it’s great to be reminded that you are in a good, kind, welcoming country, where anyone with disabilities is welcomed and catered for:
4. And hey, not all of us can be strong all of the time; it’s good to know there is a place for us to retreat to when life on the road gets a little tough!
5. Sometimes when we read signs overseas, we aren’t too sure of what message they are trying to send us:
6. And at other times, we think we know what they mean, but have to read the signs once or twice to be sure:
7. Yet on other occasions, we think the signs might be deliberately misleading to keep out tourists who, well, only speak English:
We can’t say we blame them at times to be honest.
Learning a new language? Check out our free placement test to see how your level measures up!
8. Even on holiday, it is always good to know what to do when faced with an emergency situation:
9. And hey, if you aren’t told, sometimes you just don’t know you shouldn’t, you know?
10. Plus, it’s always good to have a little reassurance:
Why aren’t our signs at home as considerate as that?
11. When travelling, it makes us feel warm and fuzzy knowing we are in the company of good, sympathetic people:
And it’s great to let tourists know that there is a dress code for certain situations so we know what to wear before going into somewhere new:
13. One of the most rewarding things about travelling is to collect sage, wise wisdom from around the world:
14. And it’s always important to heed reminders of the important things, because when you’re living out of a backpack, it’s easy to forget:
15. If you’re feeling homesick when you travel, it is always a comfort to know there is a place you will belong, no matter how far you’ve come:
16. And at other times, it’s nice to be warned in advance of places you aren’t welcome at all. Upfront honesty serves its purpose and saves us wasting our time!
17. And finally, because even us native English speakers don’t have a firm grip on our own language at times, here is some good advice to ourselves:
Okay, so yes, we did giggle at least a little at so many of these English language fails, and we hope non-English speakers laugh just as hard at us when we try to speak other languages as well sometimes, it’s only fair!
But that shouldn’t put you off learning a language, because hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you aren’t going to get very far in this world. Embrace the silliness, accept you are going to mess up on more than one occasion, and enjoy the adventure that is learning to speak words that are not your own.